Saturday, 22 September 2012

London Adventure Round 2!

Before Charlie and I went to London 3 weeks ago I already had a trip booked, going on my own. I found out the things I was hoping to do, all Olympic related were finishing as the games did. I had hoped they'd  be on until the end of September. Hence Charlie and my trip!
So I set off on my adventure yesterday morning, I arrived in London just before 1:00pm. First things first, I went into Paperchase at Euston station to buy my 2013 diary! I know it's very early but I've used Paperchase diaries for years and the one at Preston has now closed down. Whilst in there I spotted some postcards, there was one of a London bus with a giraffe on it, I knew instantly Charlie would love that so wrote it at the station to Mark, Chrlie and Courtney and sent it first class, I'm delighted to say it did arrive today, before I got home.
As I had done all the Olympic things with Charlie I then had to think of something else to do during my visit. London is a vast city and thinking of something wasn't hard to do! I decided to do things there that I hadn't done before during my many visits. I'd planned to do my first activity later in the day, I ended up having to change at the underground station so decided to just do it first! The Great Fire of London in 1666 has a monument to commemorate it. (If I am honest I hadn't realised this until a friend had visited it a few weeks ago) There's not much to Pudding Lane really, apart from the aptly named 'Monument.'

I was advised at the bottom that there was 311 steps! I think I'd have rather not known!! They seemed to go on forever, I was grateful every so often of a stop to let someone pass going back down!

It was well worth the climb though, the view across London was brilliant! I could see Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, the 'Gherkin' and the new 'Shard' building very clearly.

Going down was a lot easier than going up!!!
My next mission was to find the topiary crown in St. James Park, I was hoping to take Charlie to see it but after getting Paralympic tickets we didn't have time. It didn't matter though as I knew I was going down again for this trip. I got off the underground and headed straight for the park. It's beautiful, I don't know what I was expecting really, after all it is outside the Palace but it just blew me away. You'd never know you were in the middle of London, it was so tranquil and full of wildlife.

I treated myself to and ice cream and ate it as I wandered around.

I found the crown, it was constructed to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The detail in it is amazing!

 I walked passed Buckingham Palace on my to Victoria station, the Queen was in residence! (although there was no wind so you can't see the flag flying but it was there, I promise!)

I'd heard about a Royal Family made out of Lego bricks! I just had to investigate! It was in Hamleys, right on the top floor.

The queen was far too important to be hanging over the rail and she was sitting on her throne just behind them along with her beloved corgi! I can officially say that I saw the Queen whilst in London, lol!

Of course whilst in there I had to pick up a little treat each for Charlie and Courtney!
I was walking towards Piccadilly circus station from Hamleys to make my way to Harrods but got distracted on the way as I saw Shaftesbury Ave. which was where the show was on that I was seeing in the evening and I knew my hotel was nearby the theatre. By now I was getting tired and my backpack was feeling heavy so I decided to walk up Shaftesbury Ave, what I hadn't thought of was that it was a VERY long road!! I saw many theatres but not The Shaftesbury Theatre. After a while I asked someone to check I was still heading in the right direction (there were a number of split streets as I went along.) I was told it was about 10 minutes away, thank goodness for that! It was a relief to see the theatre and even more of a relief when I saw that my hotel was right next door! I checked in and practically collapsed on the bed! I couldn't relax too long as I still wanted to go to Harrods and knew I'd cease up if I didn't move again quickly! I transferred my purse, camera etc into my smaller bag and set off to Knightsbridge. On the way to Harrods I spotted a Kipling bag shop, my absolute favourite brand! Apparently there are only 3 actual Kipling shops in the U.K. and they're all in London. This one had just had a refurb and I was asked if I'd take part in a survey, the lady said I'd be rewarded with £10, I presumed she meant a voucher but after she gave me a £10 note! Bonus! I had a look around the shop but after just buying my (Kipling) Casaque backpack I didn't really need another bag! I headed to Harrods.

They have a Christmas section on the second floor! There were some amazing displays and beautiful items, some extremely expensive but lovely to look at all the same!

A family of gingerbread ornaments begged to be taken home, I can't wait to see them out at Christmas. 

I was quite surprised to see it was raining when I got out of Harrods, typically, as it had been so nice during the day I'd left my fleece and poncho at the hotel! I didn't get too wet walking to the underground in Knightsbridge but did get a soaking waking back to the hotel from Holborn station. I picked up my fleece and made my way to the theatre to see 'Rock of Ages.'

What a fantastic show! It starred Justin Lee Collins and Shayne Ward. The story was centered around the late 80's and featured lots of Rock & Roll! There were many funny bits in it too and I came out feeling really good! (Although very ready for bed!)
After a good nights sleep (apart from the glass bottle collection from the pub opposite at 7:00am) I got myself ready to go to Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally.)

I have been to this craft fair a few times now, it's a very good one! This time it was in the Great Hall and although the size of the room was much better, the size of the stalls was still limiting. (In previous years it has got very stuffy in the smaller room and they stopped the use of trolleys as they caught peoples heels) Trolleys were allowed again and to be honest really shouldn't have been! I wasn't really affected by them but there wasn't much room around them. Still it was a really good show again and I bought a few bits and bobs! I was ready to leave but had a couple of hours until my train home. I decided to head over to Stratford to have a look at Olympic Park. I know it's only 3 weeks since I was there but I wanted to see what they've done with it, well basically they've barricaded it up!!! I wandered up the side of the park and got a really good view of the Orbit.

I then made my way back towards John Lewis where I was met by a security guard! Apparently you're not allowed to walk down the way I had but it wasn't blocked off at the top! I was asked to go back into the shopping area. So this is about all you're allowed to see at the moment!

I was told it will be re-opening in a few weeks time as a public park so that will be good, maybe I'll visit there next time I'm in London! (no plans at the moment!)
I am sitting on the train home whilst typing this, I am due into Lancaster at 17:54, I can't wait to see Mark, Charlie and Courtney, being away is fun but coming home to my family is better!
Edited to add, do you think Charlie and Courtney liked their gifts from Hamleys? I think Mark liked his gingerbread man too!


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  2. I think you are very brave going to London on your own - it terrifies me.